On May 30, the California Department of Veterans Affairs’ Home Loan Program celebrated 100 years of helping the state’s military veterans and their families realize the American dream of home ownership.
“For the past century, it has been our honor and privilege to assist our California veterans who served this nation,” said CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani, MD. “The pride our veterans feel when they get the keys to their new home is matched only by the pride we feel in helping them to make that happen.”
Following World War I, America looked for ways to assist and thank its veterans for their service and sacrifices. On May 30, 1921, California Governor William Stephens signed into law the Veterans Farm and Home Purchases Act, created by California State Legislature for the purpose of “furnish(ing) to veterans the opportunity to purchase farms, homes and home sites.”
California voters approved the sale of $10 million in bonds to fund the loans, repaying the bonds through the interest paid on the mortgages; a system that remains in place today. Over the last century, California voters have approved bond sales for the Home Loan program 27 times, upholding the original commitment made to veterans from World War I and affirming ongoing support for the program’s success.
The CalVet Home Loan program has lent more than $8.5 billion to date, lending to over 425,000 veterans. The loan limit that began at $5,000 in 1921 is roughly $1 million today.
With one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the country, personalized customer service, and a comprehensive homeowners insurance plan, officials said the 100-year anniversary is certainly worth celebrating.
“I attribute our success not only to our tradition of personalized service and getting to know our customers, but also to our veterans; through their trust in us as a lender, and their fortitude in repaying their loans, CalVet Home Loans is able to be available for other veterans,” said Theresa Gunn, Deputy Secretary for the Home Loan program. “And we look forward to helping our veterans for another 100 years.”
CalVet will host two public events in honor of the centennial; a veterans family appreciation event in mid-August and an evening reception in Sacramento, at Cafeteria 15L on Aug. 11, 2021.